Archives for posts with tag: erasure poetry

by Mathias Jansson

She walked there alone;
Dull dreary and lonesome
A Troll
A candle asleep in her bosom
The old story over again
Dead night
She struck a light,
Lit the candle,
And let the light shine
She woke up
Bewitched by night
Now I must live in a Castle
which stands East of the Sun
and West of the Moon

SOURCE: East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Old Tales from the North by Kay Nielsen (Doubleday, 1976).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:  I remember the collection East of the Sun and West of the Moon from my childhood. As a child, I interpreted these fairytales as adventures and a battle between the good and the evil. As an adult, I see new layers in the tales — as stories about hard tests and challenges for the main characters, often fighting alone with difficult moral questions, and as tales about growing up and taking responsibility for their own lives. This poem describes a young girl fighting with her inner darkness, but also addresses her hopes and dreams, symbolized by the candle she carries inside her.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mathias Jansson is a Swedish art critic and poet. He has contributed with visual poetry to magazines as Lex-ICON, Anatematiskpress, Quarter After #4 and Maintenant 8: A Journal of Contemporary Dada. He has also published a chapbook at this is visual poetry and contributed with erasure poetry to anthologies from Silver Birch Press. Visit him at his homepage and Amazon author page.

Silver Birch Press is pleased to announce our latest release — the Bukowski Erasure Poetry Anthologya collection of erasure poems based on the novels, letters, and poetry of Charles Bukowski. The 41 poets who contributed to the  108-page collection have high regard for Bukowski’s work and approached this exercise with respect and even awe. So, with love and appreciation, we dedicate this collection to Charles Bukowski, who has inspired so many writers to keep writing and so many people to keep living.

Contributors include:

Suzanna Anderson
Tara R. Andrews
Beth Ayer
Jenni B. Baker
David Barker
Mary Bast
Alessandra Bava
Brinda Buljore
Kathy Burkett
Tobi Cogswell
Subhankar Das
Melissa Eleftherion
Mark Erickson
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Jeffrey Graessley
S.A. Griffin
Jack Habegger
Mark Habegger
Ara Harris
Mitch Hicks
Wm. Todd King
Laurie Kolp
Paula J. Lambert
Alexander Limarev
Karen Massey
Catfish McDaris
George McKim
DE Navarro
Kelly Nelson
Richard O’Brien
Winston Plowes
David S. Pointer
Sheikha A.
Scott Stoller
Keyna Thomas
Melanie Villines
Mercedes Webb-Pullman
Zachary Weber
Theresa Williams
Birgit Zartl
Ali Znaidi.

The Bukowski Erasure Poetry Anthology is available at

Cover art by Loren Kantor (

Banner with female face and thinking bubble

Thank you to the 59 poets from Canada, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and across the United States who contributed their work to the Silver Birch Press Celebrity Free Verse Poetry Series, which ran from September 1-30, 2014.

We extend our gratitude to the following poets:

E. Kristin Anderson / Texas
Tara R. Andrews / California
Sue Hyon Bae / Arizona
Sue Barnard / U.K.
Susan Beem / California
Roxanna Bennett / Canada
Mark Berriman / Minnesota
Steve Bogdaniec / Illinois
Sarah B. Boyle / Pennsylvania
Cathy Bryant / U.K.
Candace Butler / Virginia
Heidi Czerwiec / North Dakota
Andrea Janelle Dickens / Arizona
Erin Dorney / Pennsylvania
Magdalena Edwards / California
Barbara Eknoian / California
Jackie Fox / Nebraska
Gary Glauber / New York
Stephanie Barbé Hammer / Washington
Donna Hilbert / California
Trish Hopkinson / Utah
Debra B. Hori / California
Stephen James / U.K.
Mathias Jansson / Sweden
Sonja Johanson / Massachusetts
Victoria M. Johnson / California
Wm. Todd King / Kentucky
Merie Kirby / North Dakota
Laurie Kolp / Texas
Ira Lightman / U.K.
Lisa Mangini / Connecticut
Karen Massey / Canada
J.R. McConvey / Canada
Daniel McGinn / California
Virginia M. Mohlere / Texas
Katie Darby Mullins / Indiana
Sarah Nichols / Connecticut
Suzanne O’Connell / California
Daniel A. Olivas / California
Brianna Pike / Indiana
Winston Plowes / U.K.
Patrick T. Reardon / Illinois
Sonya Gray Redi / California
Fay Roberts / U.K.
Greg Santos / Canada
Meg Scott / Michigan
Michael Dwayne Smith / California
Marija Smits / U.K.
Massimo Soranzio / Italy
Scott Stoller / Illinois
Claire Trévien / U.K.
Peter B. Valentine / New York
Sylvia Riojas Vaughn / Texas
J.S. Watts / U.K.
A. Garnett Weiss / Canada
Leah Welborn / Colorado
Eileen Wesson / California
Liz Worth / Canada

Leonard Cohen Tour- Melbourne
by Greg Santos

What the hell am I doing?
Sometimes overproduce
Something’s obscure
On the wrong side of accessible

Savage about our vision
You can pretty well tell
It nourishes me
It’s the done-ness of it that I really like

There’s always a group I’m working at
There’s a few I’d like to finish before I die
Always like a bear in a honey tree
In some corner of the heart

It’s a lovely melody
That I can’t find any words for

SOURCE: “Leonard Cohen on Longevity, Money, Poetry and Sandwiches” by Gavin Edwards, Rolling Stone (September 19, 2014).

IMAGE: Leonard Cohen by Graham Denholm, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem was created using snippets from an interview with Leonard Cohen from Rolling Stone, prior to the launch of his new album Popular Problems and his 80th birthday. I’d like to think of this poem as an homage to the mastery of Cohen and the mystery of poetry.

Greg Santos 3

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Greg Santos is the author of Rabbit Punch! (DC Books, 2014) and The Emperor’s Sofa (DC Books, 2010). He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. He is a graphic designer, teaches creative writing to at-risk youth, and is the poetry editor for carte blanche. He lives in Montréal with his wife and two children. Follow him on Twitter at @moondoggyspad.

by Susan Beem

I keep returning
to stoned wishes,
love staggering
among the buried,
tall poplars,
anemones’ dramatic
I’m interested
in turbulence,
paranoia, dissection
of fundamentalists
and wary fish.
Fallen into woe,
I long to loosen
the blue door
to ecstasy.

SOURCE: “Sara Paretsky: By the Book,” New York Times (Sept. 11, 2014).

IMAGE: Erasure poem from page in New York Times (Sept. 11, 2014) featuring interview with mystery author Sara Paretsky.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Beem is a retired family physician who lives in Long Beach, California, and has been writing poetry for about 10 years with the help of local workshops. Her poems have been published by Verdad, Ekphrasis, Turtle Quarterly, Song of the San Joaquin, Bank Heavy Press, Medusa’s Laugh, and included in several themed anthologies.

by Sarah Nichols

I had a series of mini breakdowns:
a brand-new face. Huge, huge empires.
A synthesizer.
All of this stuff.

Just shut down. Be there
but just shut down. Walk past this arena.
Walk past this thing, this music.


SOURCE: Thom Yorke interview by Daniel Craig, Interview magazine (July 2013).

PHOTO: Thom Yorke by Craig McDean, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’m an ardent Radiohead fan, and a few years ago, I saw an interview with Thom Yorke on YouTube. He was dismissive of stupid questions, ferociously intelligent, and gave nothing away. Like his music, he made demands. The Interview magazine interview finds him in a more giving vein, and I wanted to see what I could do with it.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Nichols is a writer and artist living in Connecticut. Her chapbook, The Country of No, was published in 2012, and her poem “The Mirror” appeared in the Silver Birch Press Noir Erasure Poetry Anthology (December 2013). Her work has also appeared in Found Poetry Review, Right Hand Pointing, and MiPoesias.

by Sue Barnard

In the kind of world I live in
there are no compromises.

I don’t put on a show.
There is no falsity in me.

I don’t go in for half measures.
I love being able to let myself go.

This is what I am.
I’m myself, and I let the wind take me.

SOURCE:  Freddie Mercury interview, The Guardian (Nov. 22, 2011).The piece first appeared in Melody Maker (December 1974).

IMAGE: Freddie Mercury of Queen in 1974. Photograph by Michael Putland, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’ve always been a huge admirer of the late, great Freddie Mercury. In this poem, I’ve allowed his own words to encapsulate my perception of him – a wonderful performer and a truly great free spirit.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sue Barnard is a novelist, an award-winning poet, and a member of the editorial team of Crooked Cat Publishing. She has a mind which is sufficiently warped as to be capable of compiling questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz – an attribute which once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.” She lives in Cheshire, UK, with her husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.To learn more, visit her blog.

If you squint really hard, you might still see the dollar sign
by Meg Scott

Fighting like hell,
My whole irreverent essence.
Raw, visceral,
Wasn’t the animal I wanted to be.

Unloving territory–
My worst fear.
Breakthrough, breakdown,
Hindsight saved my life.

I think I just outgrew the dollar sign.

SOURCE: “Animal Instinct,” interview with Kesha by Andrew Bevan, Teen Vogue (June 2014).

IMAGE: Singer/rapper Kesha, Teen Vogue (June 2014).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Meg Scott is a Midwestern academic librarian and neologician.

by Marija Smits

Yep, I’m playing yet another brainy guy.

But it’s great, and I’m learning so much.

Will there be romance?

What, now I’m a movie star?

I think that would be incredible…

That is what should happen.

SOURCE: Benedict Cumberbatch interview, “I went to public school, but I’m not a public school boy,” The Big Issue (Jan 14, 2014).

IMAGE: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Like most middle-aged women, I have a thing for Benedict Cumberbatch. I pretend that I’m interested in his films and his acting, but really, there is only one thing worth knowing: Will there be romance?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marija Smits is a mother-of-two, a writer and poetess whose work has featured in a variety of publications. When she’s not busy with her children, or writing, she likes to draw and paint. Very late at night, when everyone else is asleep, she runs the small press Mother’s Milk Books. Her work is rather eclectic and she loves semicolons, as well as plenty of cream in her coffee. She lives in the middle of England but would like to be a bit closer to the sea. To see more of her writing and art, please visit

by Erin Dorney

I am not permanent—
I was folded.
I was made to hold things
and on the way home he cut me.
Now I am ruined,
sitting here
in this dumpster.

SOURCE: Interview with Shia LaBeouf, NPR (February 2014).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:  This source text is an interview with the paper bag that Shia LaBeouf wore on his head at the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival.

IMAGE: Actor Shia LaBeouf at 2014 Berlin Film Festival (Feb. 9, 2014) by Keystone Press.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Erin Dorney is a founding editor of The Triangle. Her work has been published in The Newer York, The Fox Chase Review, and Potluck Mag. She can be found on Twitter.